You may have hinted at one big problem here and that is sanitation. Since you did not mention this aspect of roach control I am thinking that perhaps it has not been emphasized to this customer. As a wise person stated it many years ago, "pesticides cannot overcome bad sanitation", so not only will filthy conditions in a restaurant offer the needed food for roaches, insecticides applied onto dirty and greasy surfaces don't stand much chance of doing their jobs either. Active ingredients will quickly be tied up by organic matter, and grease and filth are organic enough to do this and to make those materials unavailable to the roaches that wander over or sit on those surfaces.
So, let's start at the beginning again and suggest that on your next visit you perform a VERY thorough Sanitation Inspection. This needs to encompass the entire restaurant including dining areas, storage rooms, and of course the kitchen area. You should use a Written form on which you write down every unacceptable condition you find so that you can present it to the management of this restaurant. This includes greasy or food stained floors and walls, particularly under and behind equipment where cleaning is probably never done. It needs to include all equipment, such as stoves, refrigerators, drink dispensers, dishwashers, etc. Look for any accumulation of food that should be removed. Check the grease traps for appropriate service and cleaning.
Keep in mind that every unsanitary condition you point out for this customer could save them a problem with the local Health Department should they get inspected. Dirt and food buildup breed bacteria and bacteria make people sick, and if this occurred it would put that restaurant on the pages of the local newspaper in a very negative light. You are there to HELP this customer and working with them to correct any conditions that encourage the roaches to be there are a benefit to them. Univar ES sells many different products for sanitation, including a wide range of materials from Rockwell Labs that can be applied to walls and floors to remove grease and other buildup, into drains to feed on the gunk that lives and grows there, into grease traps to eat the grease, and onto equipment where food and grease buildup in crevices that are hard to clean. Sanitation is a HUGE part of cockroach management, so this must be addressed.
There is nothing wrong with Suspend or the IGR or Maxforce bait products. If you put any of these in contact with the roach for a long enough period of time the roach is going to die, or in the case of the IGR the roach will become sterilized. The question is WHERE are you applying the residual product? If you are treating exposed surfaces such as baseboards, floors, walls, etc., then you are wasting your effort. The roach spends very, very little time on any of those surfaces, but does spend 80% of its life tucked back into crevices and voids. These are the places you need to apply your materials so that the roach spends 15 hours or more of the day resting on that active ingredient.
Dusting within dry wall voids and equipment voids is very effective, and an inorganic product like silica gel or diatomaceous earth will last for a very long time. Flowable powder refers to Avert dry bait, and yes this can also be applied into voids but not in combination with other contact insecticides that might affect the palatability of the bait. Try a variety of other gel baits, as some of them are touted to last much longer with respect to their moisture and softness, and it just pays in general to offer insects a variety of food baits to see which ones they like.
Be liberal with a use of insect glue traps, placed in many locations so you can monitor to see where hot spots may exist. But, emphasize sanitation and work with the customer to make the effort. Emphasize exclusion, and rather than spraying into a crevice on every visit just fill that crevice in permanently with some appropriate caulking. This permanently removes a harborage point and reduces the carrying capacity of the environment there.
Mr. Pest Control
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Please note, Mr. Pest Control is answering questions supplied by PMP customers across North America. His answers are generated from industry and manufacturer-provided information. The answer may not be specific to the laws and regulations for your State, Province, Territory or Country. In addition, products mentioned may not be registered and or available in all areas. Always check with your local Univar office for specific information to your area. Always read and follow label directions.